Indo-Danish HCI Research Symposium 2006
Position Paper on
“Cross-cultural Usability Issues of Bilingual(Hindi & English) Mobile Phones”
Dr. Dinesh S. Katre
Group CoordinatorHuman Computer Interaction Design (HCID) GroupNational Multimedia Resource Centre
Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC)
Variety of information services like Short Message Service (SMS), e-mail, news,market reports, educational applications and other reading materials are now available on mobile phones. The size of mobile phone and its display is shrinking day-by-day, whereas the volume of information content and services are growing. More importantly, mobile phones introduced in the Indian market have now become bilingual; they support various services in English and Hindi languages. Mobile manufacturers have consciously or unconsciously resorted to English oriented approaches, and as a result of this, they have diluted the culture specific rules and the original form of Hindi language. Therefore, to restore the original characteristics of Hindi in mobile phones, it has become inevitable to study the cross-cultural usability issues between Hindi and English. This study involves consideration of various aspects like keypad design, mapping of Devan
gari alphabets, text entry techniques, rendering of fonts, paralinguistic features, legibility, layout and pagination, navigation through text, grammatical structure of textual content, translation of user interface and reading comprehension. We have studied the application of Hindi in four bilingual (Hindi and English) mobile phones manufactured by different companies like Nokia / Reliance 3105 CDMA, LG RD5130, Motorola C118 and Samsung / Reliance C200. Ten linguistic usability heuristics have been identified and applied for revealing several linguistic usability problems and cross-cultural issues in mobile phones. Our study provides sufficient reasons for standardization of keypad layout, Devan
gari alphabetical rendering, and Hindi translation of English technical terms used in mobile phones. This position paper provides the basis for enhancing the usability of Hindi application in mobile phones.
KEYWORDSBilingual Mobile Phone, Cross-cultural Usability, Linguistic UsabilityHeuristics, Hindi and English,
Script, Keypad Design, FontsRendering, Reading Comprehension
Katre D. S. (2006), “Position Paper On Cross-cultural Usability Issues of Bilingual (Hindi &English) Mobile Phones”, In the Proceedings of Indo-Danish HCI Research Symposium,Hosted by Department of Design, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India.